The Creative Shift with Dan Blank

Dan Blank interviews writers and artists who have taken the leap from merely dabbling with their creative vision, to becoming successful doers whose work has a positive impact on others.
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Nov 21, 2018

Today I’m excited to share my interview with author Elizabeth Spann Craig. Okay, let’s get the impressive stats out of the way first:

  • She writes 3.5 books per year.
  • She has written 27 books since 2009.

She share so much amazing advice about how she writer, managers her publishing career, and attends to her author platform.

Nov 13, 2018

I'm so excited to share my interview with author and editorial director of, Therese Walsh. In our chat, we dig into:

  • How she co-founded a blog that turned into a thriving online community for writers.
  • The realities of the book publishing business, and how to develop the right mindset to navigate it.
  • What she has learned from the writing community through years of engaging with thousands of writers.

You can find Therese in the following places:


Nov 5, 2018

Today, author Cathey Nickell shares details of how -- two years after release date -- she has ensured her book gets in front of readers, and has sold thousands of copies. Cathey is the author of Arthur Zarr's Amazing Art Car, and she recently finished her 50th school visit, presenting the book to kids. Everything that Cathey shares illustrates the practical aspects of how how to ensure your book finds new readers. 

Oct 31, 2018

In this podcast I speak to illustrator, author, and art director Samantha Hahn about why -- and how -- she made a huge creative shift in her career. How, even though she had a thriving career as a full-time illustrator and author, she wanted to expand her work and her creative process. She shares details about exactly how she redefined her professional identity, got early clients, found collaborators, and infused her daily creative process with energy and inspiration.

Oct 25, 2018

Last Spring, I spoke to writer and artist Meera Lee Patel, and the conversation was filled with so many practical tips and deep wisdom that I reached out to her again to record a second podcast. To my total delight, she said yes! So three huge things jumped out at me in this conversation that I think will deeply resonate with writers:

  1. I asked her if she gets feedback from her audience that discourages her to pursue new artistic paths and she replied that she does and the result is: "You feel do discouraged that it makes you not like that work that you made. The internet and social media makes you addicted to attention, and it really warps your sense of value. They become really twisted, where you’ve lost your values, and they are being dictated by all these people that you’ve never met and probably will never meet. Then I know that most of these people don’t know what they like because they are being told what to like by other people, and society and culture. It’s almost like everything is a total facade.
  2. I rely on my creative community to feel sane. To know that I’m not crazy, and to know that other people are having the same experience and feeling the same way, and they also feel stuck, or feel scared about losing an audience and not being able to support themselves with work if they change. Community helps you not feel isolated and alone. That is what I rely on community for, along with encouragement. To feed off of their bravery and know that we are doing it together, and that they feel I’m doing the right thing and not making this big scary decision all by myself.”
  3. When I asked if work (commissions, licensing, business opportunities) comes to her, or if she has to seek it out, she replied, “I don’t have anybody emailing me asking me to do things for them. I reach out constantly. I used to reach out to just anybody, because I was like, ‘I just need work, and I need to pay the bills. I’m lucky enough that I get to be a little choosier now. I’m like, ‘What are my dream companies? Where does my work fit in? Do I believe in them and their products? Is my work ready.” Then I reach out to them, but nobody emails me back, ever.” When I asked her how she reached out to these companies, she explained how she just goes to the contact page on their websites, and uses that. She explains what she pitches. “I pitch myself so often, where I forget to where I reach out to, so it’s nice because I get to forgo that feeling of rejection.” “When I get rejected from somebody, and I feel really bummed about it, I have a rule, that for every rejection that I feel down about, I have to reach out to three more companies or people. That action of forging ahead anyway makes me feel like I am doing something to change the current state that I’m in. So that action changes my attitude, and I always feel better knowing that I already tried again.” For every 10 people I reach out to, I probably get three responses, and usually all three are rejections. But sometimes one is positive and two are rejections. Or two are rejections and one is ‘not right now, but try again in a year.’ So the acceptance rate is very very low. And I think that is across the board for most people, unless they are highly coveted, just because there are so many artists out there, and there is so much amazing work, that I don’t think companies and brands could possibly hire everybody. I don’t take it personally anymore, but it took awhile to get there.” What’s amazing to me is even with all of this rejection, this is the work it takes to create a full-time career as an artist. This process actually works! “I do know that people look at me and they are like, ‘I would like to be where you are,’ and people do not come to me, even now. And really any work I’ve gotten has been from me reaching and saying, ‘Hey, can I do this with you.”

Other topics we dig into:

  • Her assessment of her most recent book launch, and how it was different from her previous two book launches. Hint: this launch was filled with much less pressure and anxiety for her.
  • How she thinks about her role as a writer and the purpose of a book. She describes it as “I see myself as drawing a door. Now you walk through it and you see what is on the other side. I’m making a door appear for you.”
  • Her struggling in balancing creating and marketing.
  • How she sums up the importance of talking about your books: “Sharing with one person or five people or ten people is a start.”
  • Her thoughts on how having an audience is just as difficult — if not more so — than having no audience at all: “Everybody wants a large audience, but with that comes responsibility, pressure, and expectation."
  • The challenges she has in managing social media, and dealing with expectations when people reach out to her for deep interactions.
  • The ways she sustains herself as a full-time writer and illustrator.
  • The different revenue streams that support her career as a full-time artist, and how she is adjusting them.
  • How she manages anxiety around her career.

You can find Meera Lee Patel in the following places:

Oct 10, 2018

In my interview with writer Sean McCabe, we dig into the reality of what it means to run your own business. He shares the behind the scenes decisions that have sometimes cost him tens of thousands of dollars, or more than a year of his time going down a path that he later reversed. Sean shares something amazing, and highly useful in the process: how he runs his business based on a set of clear principles. This was an amazing conversation -- if you are a writer or artist looking to develop a career that feels meaningful and fulfilling, I think you are going to love it. You can find Sean at: 

Sep 12, 2018

I first met Robert Fieseler, who I know as Bobby, when he was working at an ad agency. Then, to my astonishment, I saw him make some big changes in his life. Even though he was on a great career track in advertising, he began taking classes in the evenings and weekends to get his journalism degree. Then, he quit his well-paying job in order to have the time to write a book proposal.

In our discussion today, we dig into every detail of that story, of how Bobby risked it all to make a creative shift from a full-time job to a full-time author. In the process, he redefined himself in many profound ways.

When I invited him to do this interview, he said that this is stuff that no one else wanted to talk to him about. But this is ALL I care about because day in and day out, I work with writers and artists who want to realize their creative vision, and need to hear the stories of others who have leaned into that challenge.

In our chat, we track his career path:

  • He started out as a bookseller.
  • He then turned his experience writing poetry into a career in writing advertisements for brands such as Dominos pizza, Philip Morris and many others.
  • Why he went back to get his degree in journalism.
  • The reasons he made a huge career switch, even as he moved up the corporate ladder. He left his job to pursue an opportunity and spent his time working on a book proposal , with no guarantee that it would turn into anything. Everyone told him this was the worst thing he could possibly do from a financial or career perspective.
  • How he got his first big book deal and the process for creating that book.
  • The reception to the book and the difference in his life since being a published author.

You can hear the moment in the interview when Bobby describes getting the offer for a book deal -- he gets emotional just talking about it. That is how big that moment is for a writer. He says, "It made me feel like I was real. I had hidden my aspirations for a long time."

He also talks about fears he has had as an author, and we end with a big discussion on impostor's syndrome for writers.

Bobby is the author of Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.

You can find him at: 

Sep 5, 2018

In today's episode, I take you through the three steps of my Creative Shift process. I have honed this after working with hundreds of writers who wanted a sense of clarity to move their creative work to the next level and truly reach people. I also talk about my next Creative Shift Mastermind program, which begins October 1:

Aug 16, 2018

I recently spoke to author, book blogger, and school librarian Travis Jonker about three aspects how he became an author:

  • How he got his literary agent through his blog.
  • How he developed courage to share his creative work by “failing in public” by creating a series of zines that he would mail to friends and colleagues in the book world.
  • A clever idea he had for marketing his new book that riffed off those zines: an illustrated comic that told the behind-the-scenes story of his book, which would be mailed directly to people those who may appreciate the book.

For each instance, Travis was clear about sharing something that was unique and represented what he cared about most; He did so consistently (his blog is more than 10 years old, and in that entire time, he posted 15-30 posts per month); and he found ways to connect with his audience in way that were personal and meaningful.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking ‘play’ below or on iTunes:

Travis’ kidlit book blog, 100 Scope Notes, can be found here, and please check out his upcoming book: The Very Last Castle. Travis also has a podcast where he takes you behind the scenes in children’s literature called The Yarn.

You can find Dan Blank at: 
Be the Gateway:

Jul 25, 2018

Author Allison Leotta made an incredible career transition. After spending 12 years as a federal prosecutor who specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, crimes against children, she became an full-time novelist. She now has five books published, one being prepared for publication, and another being written.

In our conversation we dig into her incredible career path and cover a lot along the way! Some highlights:

How She Got Her Literary Agent

So many authors hide their writing from their friends and family. But Allison shows how your existing network is one of the most powerful assets you have. She found her literary agent by reaching out to a former college classmate. That classmate introduced Allison to her agent, who signed her. Allison says that the writing community is incredibly generous, kind, and welcoming.

Why Writing a Novel is Harder Than Law School

She said this of writing her first book "Writing the novel was the hardest thing I've ever done in terms of self-discipline. I went to law school, I've climbed mountains, I've run marathons, but the discipline that it took to keep going [on writing the novel] for two years, is the biggest accomplishment. Because there is just such a temptation to sleeping in." She gave up working out and TV for two years for those 2 years while she wrote the first book.

What She Has Learned About the Writing Process

During the writing process for each book, Allison says there is a point where she hits a wall and feels that she can't go on with it. But now she knows that is a part of the process -- a phase you work through. That never goes away no matter how many books you write, you simply learn to work through it.


How being a prosecutor prepared her for being a storyteller:
"I've always loved a good story, and I think there are few jobs that can compete with the amount of fascinating stories you can bring home as a prosecutor. You just see everything."

How She Got Started Writing

"Being a prosecutor,] he things you see are so painful and upsetting, that it really does change your view of the world a little bit. At the same time, there are some real heroes. It was also really inspiring."

She said she started writing her first novel because it was cheaper than therapy. Real life is more complicated, but in a novel she can tie things up in a nice little bow, solving every mystery.

She says, "It was almost a physical need to sit down and write." This is how she got started: "I went up to a little cottage in upstate NY. I had a week, and I was going to write my novel in that week. Not a single word typed that week made it to the novel, but I established momentum. Two years later I had a novel."

A Career Shift Requires Difficult Choices

Allison shared the story of the exact moment when she decided to make a big shift in her career from being a prosecutor to being a writer. The moment she said, "Some choices have to be made here."

You can find Allison in the following places:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway 

Jul 9, 2018

I invited author/illustrator Lori Richmond to talk about what we wish we knew when we first started in our creative careers.

Both Lori and I made big creative shifts midway through life: we left safe corporate jobs to start our own companies that focus on creative work. In her case, she became a children's author/illustrator. For me, I became a writer who also works with writers and artists.

What we share today is advice we give to people who are looking to jump to the next level in their creative work or in their businesses. we mention our upcoming live workshop in New York City on July 27th: Creative Business Boost ( Here you will join Lori, me, and 10 other writers and artists to:

  • Get Radical Clarity: What you create and why. You will be reinvigorated and laser focused on your creative vision.
  • Find Your True Fans: Who will love your work, why, and how to reach them.
  • Create Marketing & Sales Planning: How to market your work, package it, and promote it in a way that feels meaningful and effective.




P.S. You can find Lori here. You can also listen to an earlier interview I did with Lori here.

Jun 12, 2018

Today I want to share with you the four essential ingredients to making a creative shift in your life. What is a creative shift? It is about taking a leap forward to get unstuck and ensure that your creative work -- your writing and art -- has an impact on the world.

This is what you have to do in order to make a creative shift:

  • Get radical clarity on what you create and why.
  • Develop strong creative practices. 
  • Understand how your work can change someone's world -- that it truly connects authentically with those who will love it.
  • Create a support system to ensure you stay accountable and on track.

Click "play" above or listen to the podcast on iTunes. 

You can also check out my Creative Shift Mastermind which begins July 1.



May 22, 2018

How can one man write 10 books per year, while working a full-time job, going to law school in the evenings, and raising a young family? Today we find out. I am so excited to share my interview with author Michael La Ronn. He has published more than 40 books in the past six years: science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction books on writing.

In our discussion we dig into:

  • How he eliminated everything life that isn't writing or reading. Gave up TV, videogames, movies, and even friends who are not productive. Instead, he stays focused, saying, "I'm always thinking about writing and reading."
  • How a 2012 bout with food poisoning put him in the hospital for a month, where he decided, "I swore on my hospital bed that I would be a writer."
  • How he writes 3,000-5,000 words per day. Okay, I just did math, and that potentially adds up to a million words per year.
  • How he increased his writing output by 40% simply by writing 100 words in small moments on his phone. If he is on line at the foodstore, he writes. If he is waiting for his wife at the store, he writes. In the small moments where most of us check social media or the news, he writes.
  • How he deals the demands of his day job, and how he manages the job, instead of letting it manage him.
  • Why he is able to say, "When i wake up every morning, I'm doing my life's work," and (I love this one), "I'm going to be successful being myself."
  • She shares lots of time management, productivity, and mindset tips.

You can find Michael in the following places:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway 

May 9, 2018

Megan CartyThe other day I was looking at Instagram, and I saw a series of videos from an artist I follow, Megan Carty. She was in her studio, working on a series of paintings for a gallery show she is preparing for. She looked directly in the camera and said this:

“I feel like I’m having a nervous breakdown. My heart is racing, I’m panicking, it’s hard to breathe. Resistance is hitting me so hard right now. I have a lot of work to do, I have a lot of money invested in materials for the show I’m working on, and I’m freaking out. Something inside me says, “What if this isn’t right.” I’m being hit with all the what ifs, the scaries, the freak outs. I feel like I’m going to cry. It’s not always easy to paint and come out how you want. It can be really stressful. The fear is real. It’s just nastiness.”

I immediately messaged her and asked if I could interview her to talk about this place that nearly all artists and writers encounter. To dig into the moment, as it is happening. She was kind enough to agree, and I am so excited to share our conversation with you! In our chat we discuss:

  • How the time, energy and money you put into your creative work is an investment, even when it can feel terrifying to put so much into it. How you never know how or when this investment will pay off. This is not a sure thing, but it is a necessary steps.
  • How building her art studio was symbolic of her art becoming a career instead of a hobby.
  • The jump from dabbling to doing: “[When I began], I dabbled, but I wasn’t all in. I didn’t full believe in myself.”
  • How it only takes a little problem, or a little bit of doubt to cause a nervous breakdown: “Sometimes it can feel like a house of cards that can come down. It’s my job now to not let that happen. I have to manage it.”
  • How social media can become “a rabbit-hole of self-pity,” and how she actively manages how she uses social media to resist this.
  • How one’s creative career is not about a specific outcome, but about appreciating the journey itself.
  • How self-doubt can sabotage someone’s career: “There is an energy flow to it (your career) Where you block that energy flow with your doubts, you aren’t going to go anywhere. It’s about shutting off the valve to the doubt.”
  • Why she shared her anxiety in such a public manner: “When you share the struggle, you create a connection to others who need to hear that.”
  • Why shame accompanies the work that artists do: “You are sharing something so personal, that when you aren’t sharing it the way you want to, its as if you are letting yourself down, and you beat yourself up about it. Instead you need to forgive yourself and be your own best friend.”
  • How one’s mindset is critical to making progress: “If you are feeling frustrated in the moment, that is okay, but coach yourself through it. Encourage yourself speak more nicely to yourself.”
  • On managing depression and her art: “I’ve had depression for a long time. i’ve had a lot of time to learn how to manage it. How to flip the script so your thoughts are working for you and not against you. I coach myself and change the dialogue in my brain.”
  • Why people get stuck because they give up their own sense of control to improve their situation, and her advice on how to fix it.
  • Why failure is an essential part of success: “You can’t make good work without waddling through the bad work. You have to go through the muck. Remember this was investment in getting to the good stuff.”
  • How she relies on a mastermind with a friend to help keep each other motivated and focused.
  • The danger of focusing too much on posting on social media: looking for praise instead of doing the hard work.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking ‘play’ above, or you can find it on iTunes.

You can find Megan in the following places:

And I would highly recommend her deeply honest posts about creating art while managing depression and thoughts of suicide:


You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway 

Apr 18, 2018

Meera Lee PatelIllustrator and writer Meera Lee Patel describes why she began painting soon after she began working a day job:

"I started painting as a way to find myself, as a way to remind myself of who I was when I was a little bit happier. Who I was when I was making things. When I started painting, I felt so connected to myself and felt connect to other living things, just by being somebody who was making something from nothing and putting it out in the world. I decided that is what I wanted to do."

In my latest podcast interview, Meera and I dig into her journey as an artist, and how she made a profound creative shift to become a full-time artist and writer. You can listen to the full interview above or here on iTunes.

My Friend FearHer latest book, My Friend Fear, is an amazing work that turns fear into something beautiful.

In our discussion we cover some deeply important topics for any artist or writer:

  • The specific ways that her parents and her high school gave her permission to create, even as they also instilled a clear sense of responsibility.
  • How she devoted 40 hours per week to her craft, on top of her 40 hour per week day job. When I asked how she approached painting on the side, her answer was immediate: ""Aggressively. Super aggressively. I did not care about anything else. I worked all the time."
  • She describes how she found clarity and focus, and the specific steps she took to invest in her craft, earn money for it, and try new things.
  • When success seemed distant and she considered giving up, this is how she stayed on track: "I always thought, 'have I exhausted every possibility?' There was always something I hadn't tried. That meant there was always the possibility for me to try, so I always took that possibility, even when I didn't want to."
  • We discuss the importance of money to artists and writers. How she frames it: "Its really important to have a sustainable business so you can have the luxury and the freedom to not have to compromise your art."
  • How she found success not through a big break, but many small moments of success: "I will say that nothing has 'taken off.' I have had small moments, but my whole trajectory has been very slow, very steady and very incremental. A lot of slow growth. That is frustrating as the person who is in it. It's probably frustrating for listeners because nobody wants to hear that. But it is dependable to know that you can always take a tiny step forward each day each week and eventually you will be somewhere new because you took all of those small steps."
  • How social media is both a wonderful gift, but also an incredible challenge. She describes how, the more successful she becomes, the more complex her relationship to social media is because there are so many expectations placed upon her. How she navigates it: "Social media is responsible for making me that accessible to the world. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to have the limits and boundaries if I'm going to keep making the work."
  • When I asked her if she deals with comparisonitis, she replied, "It is an absolute daily struggle... You have to push it aside and make the work you want to make."
  • She talks about the turning point for no longer ruling her life by fear. She says: "Being scared is not a good enough reason to do things."

You can find Meera in the following places:

Her books:

As well as:
Her Etsy shop.
Her website:
Instagram: @merelymeeralee
Twitter: @meeralee

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway 

Apr 11, 2018

Today I speak with writer Jocelyn K. Glei about how digital media and technology has created a crisis for many writers and artists. Their days are spent running on the treadmill of digital and social media, chained to their computers and phones, and increasingly unable to break away in order to complete bigger creative projects. 

We dig into the neuroscience behind why this is, and she shares a wide range of strategies and tactics to take back your attention. 

You can find Jocelyn in the following places:
Hurry Slowy podcast:

Her books:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 

Mar 28, 2018

In this podcast, I chat with Brooklyn-based artist and designer, Kelli Anderson. We dig into 

  • The value of stubbornness in the creative process
  • How her career path had her quit a safe full-time job for a part-time job that allowed her to do creative side-project with the rest of her time
  • The importance of collaboration in developing your craft and developing an audience
  • The power of communication: when you are 100% clear on what you love and you let people know, it empowers them to help you get it
  • How she gained her social media following of 60,000 followers from sharing innovative projects like a paper record player
  • Why she is so enamored by analog, lo-fi, and mechanical things
  • How she has constructed her life around this: artistic growth is not always about financial growth
  • The importance of keeping a sketchbook

You can find Kelli in the following places:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 

Mar 14, 2018

Today I'm excited to share my interview with author and publishing expert Jane Friedman. In our discussion, we dig into the nuts and bolts on how to earn a living as a writer.

We frame the conversation around her new book, The Business of Being a Writer, which shatters romantic assumptions around publishing, but then arms you with practical advice on how to develop your career.

We dig into:

  • The dream that writers have and how it matches to reality.
  • The business side of what it is like working with agents and publishers.
  • How agents and publishers earn money (and how much they earn)
  • Why great work simply rise to the top.
  • The effort it takes to market a book and reach readers.
  • The importance to get outside of your comfort zone to ensure your book finds its audience.
  • ...and so much more!

We also explore Jane's own career path. Okay, perhaps my favorite quote from our discussion is how she expressed the challenge of selling a book in the age of distraction:

"It's so easy to not read a book"

Click 'play' above to listen to our conversation, or find the podcast on iTunes.

You can find Janes book here: The Business of Being a Writer

You can find her online in the following places:

Mar 5, 2018

In my latest podcast, I interview psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, who helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves. In our chat, we dig into topics that writers and artists constantly struggle with, including:

  • Impostors Syndrome
  • Permission
  • Comparison to others
  • Seeking validation
  • Sharing your work publicly
  • Collaboration
  • Entrepreneurship

We talk about her new book, How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, which Susan Cain calls "a groundbreaking roadmap to finally being your true, authentic self."

About Ellen: Ellen Hendriksen is a clinical psychologist who helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves through her award-winning Savvy Psychologist podcast, which has been downloaded over 5 million times, and in her clinic at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD). Her scientifically-based, zero-judgment approach is regularly featured in Psychology Today, Scientific American, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Quiet Revolution, and many other media outlets.

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 


Feb 27, 2018

In this podcast episode, I talk to illustrator Will Terry. We dig deep into how he went from freelance gigs as an illustrator to developing a sustainable career with multiple revenue streams.

Will illustrates children's books, sells his art at conventions, and is the co-founder of an online art school called The School of Visual Storytelling.

In our chat, he share specifics about how he got his first jobs in illustration, and how he developed his network with other professionals, even though he worked alone from home. His story reminded me of what I hear from so many successful artists and writers: even though he is an introvert, he has spent years developing collaborations and sharing his work in public.

Will opens up about the downs of his career too. He recalled a time when his financial situation looked so bad that he thought, "All of this financial mess will go away when I die."

What was most astounding from this story was how he turned down financial help from a relative when he desperately needed the money. He concluded that all of his later success came from that single decision to dig his way out on his own. He says,
"If I had taken that money, I don't think I would be doing the things I'm doing today. Today my life feels so much better and happier, almost zero stress."

Will share such practical advice, including how he grew his business. He talks about how he got more work, with a pretty incredible insight: "You actually have to ask for it." He assume that if he turned in freelance work to a client, that they would reach out to him if they wanted more work. It turns out, they were ready to hire him again, but were waiting for him to tell them. You have to ask.

You can find will at the following places:


You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 

Feb 20, 2018

On January 29th, artist Marc Johns saw this on social media: Drew Barrymore shared a photo of her daughter wearing a jacket that had Marc's art on it.

Amazing right? This is the type of thing that many artists dream about: a celebrity sharing their work with 8 million followers. But there was a problem. The jacket was not an officially licensed product. The company who made it stole Marc's art. Drew didn't know this.

I sat down and talked to Marc about this, and he shared an extremely honest account of what happened, and what he did about it. He doesn't hold anything back, and shares how this made him consider giving up art entirely.

Luckily, this particular story has a happy ending, but I know that isn't the case for many artists. Marc and I also talk about the complexity that all creators face when dealing with art, money, and piracy.

You can find Marc in the following places:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 

Feb 13, 2018

Today I speak with Srini Rao,  who is the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast, and the author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best.

In this chat we discuss how to find more time to do the creative work that you love. 

You can find Srini at:
His book:

You can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway: 



Jan 31, 2018

How do you navigate creative burnout? That is something that illustrator/author Rebecca Green has been working through.

Her work is incredible, but a couple months ago, she shared this with her 225,000 Instagram followers:

"I have to be honest, my well is empty. Bone dry. It’s been a rough last six months and recently, strange as it sounds, when I show up to my drawing table, I have an immense urge to weep, sing, or run. Anything but make art."

"This is of course, extremely difficult when you make art for a living, so I suppress those feelings and keep pushing and showing up and am happy to do so."

"I am though, experiencing a major burn out that’s unlike anything I’ve ever gone through. Work has always ebbed and flowed with periods of intense creativity and moments of resentment, but this time feels a little too deep. I find myself unmotivated, lost, and not sure who I am, what I make or why any of it matters."

When someone looks at Becca's body of work and accomplishments from the outside, it is tempting to feel that her success makes her fortunate and that it makes creating easier.

It doesn't.

The line from above that rings in my head the most is this one:

"I find myself unmotivated, lost, and not sure who I am, what I make or why any of it matters."

When I read this, I emailed her and asked if she would be open to coming on my podcast and talking about the topic of creative burnout, and dig into her journey as an artist.

To my great delight -- she said yes!

What Becca shares in this interview is relevant to someone working in any creative field.

You can find Becca in the following places:

Jan 29, 2018

I sat down with book coach Jennie Nash to run a Q&A session with writers. Jennie has many super powers, and on this call we discussed aspects of how to write a better book, how to manage your creative time, and the connection between audience engagement and writing.

Jennie gives brutally honest answers about what it takes to improve your craft and reach readers, and gives practical examples of what that looks like.

You can find Jennie at:

And you can find Dan Blank at:
Be the Gateway on


Jan 22, 2018

Often, writers and artists talk about how to get better at their craft, publish their work, and engage an audience. They look for tricks and trends and shortcuts and "best practices." 

Yet, in working with creative professionals over the years, I have found that there is a topic which can undermine all of their other efforts: neglecting their health. Not just physical health, but mental health, including stress, anxiety, loneliness, and sleep. 

Today's guest, author Joanna Penn, is here to talk about her new book, The Heathy Writer, which she co-wrote with Dr. Euan Lawson. In our chat, we dig deep into ways that writers can improve their health, and Joanna is incredibly honest in sharing her own story. 

You can find The Healthy Writer here:

And Joanna here: 

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